A lot of you have expressed surprise at being able to get stuff in Chennai. Yes, lots of stuff is now available here. I guess it's just a question of knowing where to look.
For kitchen pans/gadgets: My dear friend Rachel pointed me to Currimbhoys and Poppat Jamals. Currimbhoys is where I got the bamboo steamer as well as the muffin pan that a lot of you asked about. A lot of stuff is also available at Lifestyle Home Center.
For food stuffs: Obviously all of you know that the everyday stuff is available at Nilgiris. But if you really looked you'd find they have ingredients that you haven't bothered to look for before (atleast I haven't). For example, Demerara Sugar. The other store that I've found to have great unusual stuff is Food World (or now Spencers) which has a section for International Foods (which is where I found the rice paper rolls), but they also have different kinds of dried mushrooms, vegetables and spices.
I also shop at Amma Naana and Maison de Gourmet, if I really have to find something and it's not available in any of the above shops. They are more expensive but the chances of them having it are very high. For specialty cheeses, sauces and jams, the place to go is Maison.
Amma Naana is great for people who have moved back to India from the US, and are still craving things like Trail Mix, Granola Bars, Starbucks Frappuccinos or Post Cereal! (I could go on, but you get the general idea). They also have lots of unusual vegetables (like asparagus and zucchini) that are not available in neighbourhood supermarkets. It's also where I found the Arborio Rice that a lot of people asked about.
If I do use an unusual ingredient, I shall include my source from now on, so that may help Chennaiites locate it. I hope that helps. Also my other blog, Rediscovering Chennai, is all about how Chennai has now become a lot more global than it used to be - stores, restaurants and mindset. (P.S. I've also just completed my 100th post there! :))
Good Luck, Chennaiites! If you know of any other really good resources for kitchen implements/ foodstuffs in Chennai, do let me know in the Comments section. Thanks.